Ryokan Kurashiki, Day Two, part two

May 21, 2013

Our second dinner at Ryokan Kurashiki, on March 24, 2013, was Linda’s birthday party. Kiyoko brought celebratory clothes for us to wear in a photo shoot.
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A kanreki is a celebration of a sixtieth birthday, after one has passed through the twelve-year zodiac cycle five times, one for each of the elements: earth, air, fire, water and metal. It is thought that one is restarting life then. Red is the color of the kanreki, explaining the red costume that Linda is wearing over her yakuta and the red pillow she is on. Purple is worn for the 70th and 77th birthday celebrations. Well, we were not at those exact years, although we were in the right decades. General Manager, Ritsuko Nakamura, knew that, but organized the event so we could all have some fun and enjoy a Japanese custom. After the photo shoot, we took off the costumes, settled into the table in our room and ordered a bottle of the local sake, Kurashiki-Gawa Nagareru-Mamani.
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The first course was “Assorted seasonal appetizer.”
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It included (left to right): broiled sea eel flavored with soy sauce and Japanese pepper topped with kinome, smoked tuna, shrimp, soy milk with wasabi, a simmered oyster topped with finely sliced leeks, an asparagus wrapped in prosciutto.

The “clear soup” course was a light dashi with tricolored thin noodles, Japanese icefish and a soymilk skin roll.
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The “sashimi” course included tilefish, striped jack and squid.
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The “simmered dish” was sea bream with turnip garnished with an ostrich fern  fiddlehead and butterbur.  Finely sliced yuzu rind topped it all and provided just the right seasoning. On the right is a wedge of dried mullet roe with Japanese radish.
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The “grilled dish” was a nice chunk of broiled sea bream topped with chopped kinome, mugwort flavored wheat gluten topped with yuzu miso and pickled daikon topped with finely sliced shiso.
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The “dish for surprise” was steamed local beef sirloin with various steamed vegetables and a sesame sauce.
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The “deep fried dish” was a tempura of spring edible wild plants: mountan garlic, angelica tree shoot, udo. There was a little dish of roasted salt seasoned with matcha powder for dipping.
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The “cooked rice with seasonal ingredients” were small sushi spheres: (left to right: shrimp, tuna with egg yolk, broiled sea eel with kinome, (second row) soaked butterbur with baby sardine rice topped with a lily bulb, sea bream with shiso and salmon with its roe. There was bowl of miso soup with tofu, seaweed and chives.
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There was a special five part dessert, without candles, for Linda’s birthday.
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The meal ended with raspberry meringues.
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This meal was excellent from start to finish. The ingredients, composition and preparation of the dishes were top quality. The genial service from Kiyoko helped to make it a special occasion. Ritsuko joined us at the end for conversation, which we also enjoyed.

The next morning Kiyoko prepared another Japanese breakfast for us.
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We said our goodbyes and departed for Fukuoka with good memories of the Ryokan Kurashiki.


To see all three of our blogposts on Ryokan Kurashiki click here. 


2 Responses to “Ryokan Kurashiki, Day Two, part two”

  1. lahv Says:

    A superb celebration and the courses look as beautiful and sound delicious!

  2. So pleased to find your part two comment!
    We are all waiting for your next visit in near future.

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